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The goal of codemetar is to generate the JSON-LD file, codemeta.json containing software metadata describing an R package. For more general information about the CodeMeta Project for defining software metadata, see In particular, new users might want to start with the User Guide, while those looking to learn more about JSON-LD and consuming existing codemeta files should see the Developer Guide.


You can install codemetar from github with:

# install.packages("devtools")


This is a basic example which shows you how to generate a codemeta.json for an R package (e.g. for testthat):


codemetar can take the path to the package root instead. This may allow codemetar to glean some additional information that is not available from the description file alone.


Which creates a file looking like so (first 10 lines; see full codemeta.json here):

  "@context": [
  "@type": "SoftwareSourceCode",
  "identifier": "codemetar",
  "description": "The 'Codemeta' Project defines a 'JSON-LD' format for describing\n  software metadata, as detailed at <>. This package\n  provides utilities to generate, parse, and modify 'codemeta.json' files \n  automatically for R packages, as well as tools and examples for working with\n  'codemeta.json' 'JSON-LD' more generally.",
  "name": "codemetar: Generate 'CodeMeta' Metadata for R Packages",
  "issueTracker": "",

Modifying or enriching CodeMeta metadata

The best way to ensure codemeta.json is as complete as possible is to begin by making full use of the fields that can be set in an R package DESCRIPTION file, such as BugReports and URL. Using the Authors@R notation allows a much richer specification of author roles, correct parsing of given vs family names, and email addresses.

In the current implementation, developers may specify an ORCID url for an author in the optional comment field of Authors@R, e.g.

Authors@R: person("Carl", "Boettiger", role=c("aut", "cre", "cph"), email="", comment="")

which will allow codemetar to associate an identifier with the person. If the package is hosted on CRAN, including the ORCiD in this way will cause an ORCiD logo and link to the ORCiD page to be added to the package CRAN webpage.

Using the DESCRIPTION file

The DESCRIPTION file is the natural place to specify any metadata for an R package. The codemetar package can detect certain additional terms in the CodeMeta context. Almost any additional codemeta field (see codemetar:::additional_codemeta_terms for a list) and can be added to and read from the DESCRIPTION into a codemeta.json file.

CRAN requires that you prefix any additional such terms to indicate the use of explicitly, e.g. keywords would be specified in a DESCRIPTION file as: metadata, codemeta, ropensci, citation, credit, linked-data

Where applicable, these will override values otherwise guessed from the source repository. Use comma-separated lists to separate multiple values to a property, e.g. keywords.

See the DESCRIPTION file of the codemetar package for an example.

Going further

Check out all the codemetar vignettes for tutorials on other cool stuff you can do with codemeta and json-ld.